Quick Hit: Neunaber Iconoclast
Space constrained? This compact simulator delivers many realistic speaker sounds for practice, performance, and recording.
I’m a stubborn city dweller. And I like guitars through real amps, space be damned. But as dinky as my place is, even mic’ing a Champ can be a hassle in my kitchen/office/studio. Neunaber Audio Iconoclast speaker simulator eliminates many such hassles—both by virtue of its size (about as big as an MXR stompbox) and a simple stereo I/O array that directs output to a recording interface, powered speakers, PA, or headphones via the side-mounted 1/8" out.
Iconoclast uses filtering rather than impulse response to spin its speaker sim’ tricks. That means the three EQ controls in Iconoclast’s simple dial set also serve to simulate various speaker dynamics. More low end equals bigger virtual cabinet size, while mid and high adjustments replicate specific speaker dynamics. The trick works well: particularly for demos or recordings with dense mixes where true speaker dynamics stand out less. Iconoclast works really well at the end of a pedalboard—even with gnarly fuzz in the mix. You’ll hear a slight lack of mass and dimension in some situations. And it probably won’t replace your favorite amp. But for practice and recording in tight spaces, Iconoclast is an impressive stand-in, and a potentially very valuable asset.
Test gear: Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Apogee Duet, Pioneer monitor headphones, Mackie PA
Simple to use. Space-conscious design. Nice speaker simulations for clean tones. Works well with pedals.
Works less well with chaotic playing styles relying on feedback or heavy speaker compression.
Ease of Use: